Browse

You are looking at 101 - 110 of 377 items for :

  • Sustainable and Green Chemistry x
Clear All
Open access

Ludmila Vanharova, Marketa Julinova and Roman Slavik

Abstract

The research deals with biodegradation of films prepared from polyvinylpyrrolidone and polylactic acid (PVP/PLA). Biodegradation of PVP/PLA films was supported by the following additives: 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, 1-octyl-2-pyrrolidone, acrylamide and N-acetyl-L-phenylalanine according to the previous study. The films were prepared by a solvent casting technique. Biodegradation was observed using the respirometric method in different environments. The films subjected to biodegradation were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. It was found that the films are substantially degraded, but not in the biological way; PVP was quickly removed in presence of water because of its easy solubility. In contrast, this fact could support biodegradation of PLA, which becomes more available for microorganisms when PVP leaves PLA matrix.

Open access

Andrzej Kłos, Zbigniew Ziembik, Małgorzata Rajfur, Agnieszka Dołhańczuk-Śródka, Zbigniew Bochenek, Jarle W. Bjerke, Hans Tømmervik, Bogdan Zagajewski, Dariusz Ziółkowski, Dominik Jerz, Maria Zielińska, Paweł Krems and Piotr Godyń

Abstract

Heavy metals and radioactive compounds are potentially hazardous substances for plants, animals and humans in the Arctic. A good knowledge of the spatial variation of these substances in soil and primary producers, and their sources, is therefore essential. In the samples of lichen Thamnolia vermicularis, Salix polaris and Cassiope tetragona, and the soil samples collected in 2014 in Svalbard near Longyearbyen, the concentrations of the following heavy metals were determined: Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and Hg, as well as the activity concentrations of the following: K-40, Cs-137, Pb-210, Pb-212, Bi-212, Bi-214, Pb-214, Ac-228, Th-231 and U-235 in the soil samples. The differences in the concentrations of the analytes accumulated in the different plant species and soil were studied using statistical methods. Sea aerosol was indicated as the source of Pb, Hg, Cs-137, Pb-210 and Th-231 in the studied area. A relatively high concentration of nickel was determined in the biota samples collected near Longyearbyen, compared to other areas of Svalbard. It was supposed that nickel may be released into the atmosphere as a consequence of the local coal mining around Longyearbyen.

Open access

Artur Pawłowski, Małgorzata Pawłowska and Lucjan Pawłowski

Abstract

Carbon dioxide fluxes between ecosystems of the Earth are presented. It was shown that intensifying its absorption of terrestrial ecosystems by 3.2% would prove sufficient to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and cement production. It was shown that Polish forests absorb 84.6 million tons of CO2/year, that is 26% of emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production, while agricultural crops absorb 103 million tons of CO2/year. Total carbon dioxide sequestration by forests and agricultural crops amounts to 187.5 million tons of CO2/year, which is tantamount to 59% of emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production. Forestation of marginal soils would further increase carbon dioxide absorption in Poland by 20.6 million tons of CO2/year. Moreover, if plants were sown in order to produce green manure - instead of leaving soil fallow - sequestration could still be boosted by another 6.2 million tons of CO2/year.

Open access

Monika Janas and Alicja Zawadzka

Abstract

Energy willow as a species with broad adaptation possibilities, large production capacity and a wide range of applications, takes a special place among the plants grown for energy production. In this work an analysis was conducted in respect of the usefulness of this type of wood from experimental plantations as a clean source of energy generated in the combustion process. The heat of combustion and net calorific value of dry matter of energy willow wood, including selected sorts and classes of thickness were determined. Energy willow has a natural ability to accumulate heavy metals which are oxidized during the combustion process or remain in the ash, and consequently repollute the environment. In order to determine the environmental impact the content of heavy metals was examined in energy willow wood and in the soil of the experimental plantation. Metal concentrations were determined by the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry method (AAS). Results of the tests confirmed a close relationship between the heat of combustion, calorific value and wood thickness as well as its location in the tree structure. Furthermore, very large differences were found in the content of heavy metals in the samples of both willow wood and soil. The levels of heavy metal content in the wood of energy willow determine the agricultural use of ashes produced during combustion.

Open access

Ewelina Kruszczak and Hanna Kierzkowska-Pawlak

Abstract

The CO2 absorption process using aqueous amine solutions has been the most promising technique used for the removal of CO2 from gas streams in energy sector. In recent years, many researchers tested solutions which are composed of several compounds: a slow reacting tertiary amine- and a fast amine acting as an activator. In this paper, the CO2 absorption rate in an aqueous solution of N,N-diethylethanoloamine (DEEA) and activated solutions DEEA is investigated experimentally. The activators considered are sterically hindered amines: 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP), 2-amino-2-methyl-1,3-propanediol (AMPD) and N-methyl-1,3-propanediamine (MAPA) from the group of polyamines. The experiments were conducted over the temperature range of 303-333 K and the total amine concentration of 2 M. From the CO2 absorption experiments into mixed aqueous solutions of DEEA and MAPA, it was found that the addition of small amounts of MAPA into aqueous DEEA solutions has a significant effect on the enhancement of the CO2 absorption rate. The application of hindered amines: AMP or AMP as activators resulted in a marginally improvement of the absorption rate of CO2.

Open access

Tomasz Szul, Jarosław Knaga and Krzysztof Nęcka

Abstract

The method based on rough set theory (RST) was used in the study to establish the rate of mass accumulation of waste in households in rural areas, which are characterised by different economic types, in case of which traditional statistical analyses are usually hardy reliable. The following indicators available in the General Statistical Office’s statistics were used in the analysis: population density, income level, main source of income, economic type of the municipality, area of agricultural land, age of the buildings and participation of gaseous fuels in meeting heat demands. The method shown should not be considered as a competition for statistical methods, but it could complement them, especially in cases when there are few objects to analyse, the more so as it proves useful in cases where input data are general, imprecise and uncertain. As has been shown in the study, with such data and a small number of objects, the relative error of estimation was 13% on average.

Open access

Dorota Brzezińska, Marek Dziubiński and Adam S. Markowski

Abstract

Despite the fact that LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is used in a large number of cars, tests have not yet been carried out to ascertain how hazardous can be the release of LPG from the car when parked in enclosed garages. The problem applies to both public and industrial parking areas, especially in Poland, where more than 10% cars are fueled by LPG. The paper describes full scale experiments, which demonstrate conditions that may occur in a garage in the event of accidental LPG release from the car installation. Over the course of the tests, a series of six LPG spillage tests were performed to study emission time and flammable cloud formation depending on the accidental gap diameter. Additionally, to enable the visual observation of the gas dispersion and influence of the ventilation system the experiment was conducted using well visible CO2 gas cloud, produced from dry ice. The experiments have shown that without ventilation LPG can accumulate on the floor of the enclosed garage for a long time, which generates a high explosive hazard. However, good ventilation (especially jet fan systems) can quickly remove hazardous flammable LPG clouds. Moreover, very important for effective LPG detection is the location of detectors closer to the floor than is currently recommended - at a height of 30 cm.

Open access

Manfred Sager

Abstract

Differences between vertical mobilities of nutrient and trace elements within a long-term sludge-treated and an adjacent untreated Alpine grassland cambisol were investigated by column experiments. The site had been intensely fertilized with urban sewage sludge for 10 years of 7.5 Mg/ha annually, whereas an adjacent site had been left untreated. A model column experiment was set up to investigate changes of permeabilities and trace element retentions at 0-20 cm and 20-60 cm layers thereof. Elution was performed with de-ionized water at amounts of expected rainfall at the sampling site (1000 mm), as well as with equal volume of manure after biogas production. Long-term sludge treatment increased organic carbon, formation of ammonium and nitrate, and increased vertical mobility of K, P, S, Cu, and Fe, but also slightly higher (below 10-fold) for Na, Sr, Ba, Ni and V. Additional application of manure was of minor effect, mainly upon nitrate formation, and upon leaching of Fe, Mn as well as Fe/Mn proportion. Prior addition of FeCl2 to the manure in order to increase sulfide precipitation, mainly affected the output of ammonia, but hardly the cations or anions (e.g. P) investigated.

Open access

Grzegorz Kosior, Agnieszka Dołhańczuk-Śródka and Zbigniew Ziembik

Abstract

Mosses are good bioaccumulators of radionuclides and from the 60 of the last century, they are used as bioindicators of radioactive contamination in the environment. Concentration of impurities in moss represent the accumulation in mosses during the past 2-3 years. As a result, the moss composition analysis provides information on an average contamination within a few vegetation seasons. During our survey the measurements of radionuclide activity concentrations in P. schreberi transplanted from places relatively clean to heavily contaminated areas of Upper Silesia were carried out. An increase in the radionuclides activity concentrations in P. schreberi transplants may indicate not only deposition of the radionuclides itself, but also an influx of other pollutants. The results showed no relationship between the Pb-210 activity concentration and activity concentrations of Pb-214, Bi-214, also belonging to the uranium-radium decay series. The increased concentration of Pb-210 in P. schreberi may be the result of the radionuclide atmospheric deposition, which appears in the environment as a result of fossil fuels burning. Excess, allogeneic Pb-210 can be used as marker of environmental pollution. In the areas with its higher activity concentration increased pollution can be expected delivered, for example, by local industry. The Project received financial assistance from the funds of the National Science Centre, granted by force of the decision no. UMO-2013/09/B/NZ8/03340 (NCN).

Open access

Marek Ruman, Ewa Olkowska, Magdalena Drąg-Śmigalska, Grzegorz Jankowski and Żaneta Polkowska

Abstract

Surfactants are a group of compounds with specific physico-chemical properties and therefore they are used in many spheres of human activity. Surface-active substances undergo various physico-chemical transformations, what enables their migration between different elements of the environment and may lead to its pollution. Selected anionic surfactants were determined in samples of water from the Klodnica river (25 samples) and bottom sediments (25 samples). In most samples the presence of anionic analytes was confirmed. The determined concentration levels were in the range of up to 0.2105±0.0023 mg/dm3 or 0.207±0.010 μg/kg (surface water and bottom sediment samples, respectively). Comparing the concentrations of certain analytes found in liquid and solid environmental samples, it can be noticed that the surfactants containing a shorter alkyl chain in a molecule were present in higher concentrations in liquid samples (hydrophobicity increasing with the increasing length of the chain) and the other way round.